LinkedIn’s Newest Features – Part 1

PrintOriginally LinkedIn was the platform where people could take to, to connect with others and look for jobs. The past few years LinkedIn has changed its tune. LinkedIn has positioned themselves as the go to expert in everything from college research, content curation and business referrals. How have they done this? By slowing expanding their platform and offering new features that target specific audiences.

In this two-part blog series we are going to look at the newest features, their audience and what their appeal is. Part 1 will focus on LinkedIn for personal use, Part 2 will focus on Company Page features.

LinkedIn has made major strides in the past year-and-a-half to enhance its platform and provide additional features and services to an extended user database.

Here are 5 of the latest features in chronological order:

LinkedIn Influencers – October 2012
LinkedIn expanded its platform to a blogging-esque arena by inviting influential business and political leaders to share their own content and insights in this platform. Influencers is an area found under “Pulse” in the “Interest” tab. It is here, you can follow Influencers and “link in” to their content.

linkedin influencers_2

This feature took a while to gain steam but eventually took off as LinkedIn invited more celebrity bloggers that had insightful posts to share. Influencers’ content was recently combined with the Pulse feature (See below). Users can choose who to follow or the type of content that interests them. By following categories of interest it is easy to discover new Influencers as their posts find their way into your Pulse or “news feed”.

In February of 2014, LinkedIn made the Influencer Network less exclusive and opened it up to the general public. Meaning anyone has the potential of being an Influencer. LinkedIn ultimately chooses validity based on algorithmic data, or which content has the most viral traction that will appeal to the masses.

Source: Reuters.com

Pulse – November 13, 2013

LinkedIn purchased “Pulse” in April of 2013 and integrated this service with their “LinkedIn Today” feature. Pulse is located at the top of your Update section on your Home Page or under the Interests tab in your customized news feed. “LinkedIn Today” has been around since 2011. The integration of these two features has resulted in a digital newspaper format, allowing users to choose the type of content they wish to follow and easily scan posts and articles that are of interest to them. By selecting categories and “Influencers” they customized the content in their Pulse news section.

linkedin pulse

Source: TechCrunch.com

University Pages – August 19, 2013

Remember the days of junior year when you would make the trip to the Guidance Counselor’s office to pick up outdated brochures about colleges and universities? Ultimately looking at historic data to decide which higher education institution appealed to you?

Young friends in caféWell LinkedIn has created University Pages for high school students, parents and those looking to return to the world of higher education, to help them investigate those institutions with real-time data. Users can look at where alums are working, what industry they ended up in and search for professionals in the field of expertise. LinkedIn bridged the data gap with this latest feature.

What is most beneficial for LinkedIn is they have a new audience, high school students. These future professionals would eventually find themselves on the LinkedIn in 4 – 6 years. LinkedIn wants them now. A brilliant move to expand it user database.

Side note: This feature is also beneficial for alums to reconnect with classmates. The search function allows users to drill down data on a specific time frame and major at an institution.

Source: LinkedIn Blog

How You’re Connected – January 29 2014
One of LinkedIn’s strongest features is connections, showing how you are (or aren’t) connected with other users.

  • A 1st connection shows that you have a direct relationship and are “linked in”.
  • A 2nd connection shows that you have someone in common (a friend of a friend) but are not connected directly.
  • A 3rd connection means that you don’t have any 1st connections and possibly 2nd connections.
  • Typically in this instance you ask for an introduction by a mutual contact or depending on the users’ settings you can send them a message to connect. The purpose of “How You’re Connected” is to not only show connections you have in common, but the relationships that exist between those connections.

    For example, there is a 2nd connection that you wish to connect with. You have three 1st connections that are already “LinkedIn” to that contact. “How You’re Connected” shows the relationships between your prospect and 3 connections. Allowing you to find the perfect person to introduce you to your prospect.

    linkedin how connected

    Image Source: LinkedIn Blog

    LinkedIn for Volunteers – January 15, 2014

    Have you been looking to expand your resume with some volunteer work? Or maybe you are looking to make a career move and want to test the waters and gain some experience first with volunteering?

    LinkedIn has generated a “Volunteering Marketplace” that allows you to search for volunteer positions. You can search by keyword, company, title, or location. This feature not only helps those looking for volunteering positions, but assists nonprofits and organizations looking to get the word out about opportunities available.

    linkedin volunteers

    Source: http://volunteer.linkedin.com/

    Stay tuned for Part 2 – LinkedIn’s Newest Features, as we look at those aspects that benefit businesses.

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